Lancashire Times
Voice of the North
Jeremy Williams-Chalmers
Arts Correspondent
6:00 AM 29th May 2020

Loïc Nottet - Sillygomania

Aged just 24, Loïc Nottet has achieved an awful lot in a very short amount of time. The former The Voice Belgique contestant managed to finish fourth in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest with the still epic Rhythm Inside. That same year he won the sixth series of Danse Avec Les Stars in France as his debut single achieved Platinum status at home in Belgium and soared up the charts around the world. Two years later he revealed his truly masterful Selfocracy, which not only achieved Platinum status but made him an award winning award. It is therefore little surprise that his fans have had to wait a further three years for his sophomore release, Sillygomania.

Not that he wasn't productive during those three years. In that space of time there was the concept EP, Candy, which was of course accompanied by a visual spectacular - something which Loïc has excelled at throughout his career. To boot there were no less than six stunning singles, of which five have made the cut for the new record.

Boasting a total of fourteen songs, Sillygomania is no just a compiled collection of past singles, it is a new body of work that takes the themes he has explored in the featured singles and builds on them. As with his debut, Selfocracy, Loïc has an incredible way with words and his observations and reflections are poignantly and sometimes pointedly delivered.

While there is no denying that the 80s vibe of recent single Heartbreaker could have been further explored in the record, the fact it isn't doesn't detract from the record as a body whole. In fact, what makes Sillygomania even strong than Selfocracy is that Loïc is unafraid of pushing genre boundaries further and relinquishing himself from any attachment to a particular sound.

While the up-tempo are no doubt stand-out moments - with heartbreak joined by the Latin rhythms of Rosa Maria and explosive T W Y M, it is actually in the reflective climax that closes the album that insight into Loïc's inner-workings are revealed and the album packs its most powerful punch. The questioning Farewell, which is loaded with thought provoking advice to album builds into the truly glorious Mr / Mme.

Sophomore albums are always meant to be a challenge, but Sillygomania is an example of how, when done correctly, they can redefine and reshape an artist without losing sight of the ingredients that gave them their initial appeal. A truly sensational set of songs.